Political ruckus over death of infants at Malda Medical College & Hospital, govt orders to increase number of beds in PICU wards

09:09 PM Sep 17, 2021 | Aritra Singha

Kolkata: With two more infant deaths in West Bengal's Malda Medical College and Hospital, a political slugfest has started between the West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Dhankhar on Friday said that the situation of infants dying every day is ‘heart-wrenching’ and also that the state government should immediately seek assistance from the Central government.


“The central government is aware of the situation and have also ex[pressed their concern over the issue. The TMC government should immediately seek assistance from the Central government,” said Dhankhar.


Slamming the governor, West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said that it has become his habit to comment on everything.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh also stated that the TMC government should immediately seek support from the center to curb the ‘new menace’.

“So many mothers are becoming childless. This problem should be tackled immediately,” said Ghosh.

Meanwhile, a team from the health department comprised IPGMIR Microbiology Departmental Head Raja Ray, Director of Health Services (Public Health) Pallab Bhattacharya, Additional Health Director Bikash Chandra Mondal, Sagar Dutta Hospital Community Medicine Departmental head Diptikanti Mukherjee and Calcutta Medical College Associate Professor Mihir Sarkar reached North Bengal on Friday and held several rounds of meeting with senior health officials.

North Bengal Health Department Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Dr. Sushanta Ray, who also attended the meeting, said, "A state-level team reviewed the situation. A monitoring team has been formed in various districts. Infants with this kind of fever get admitted every year. We are planning to increase the number of beds from 120 to 170.”

The state government however had asked all the medical colleges to increase beds in the pediatric ICU and the neonatal wards.

Notably, a total of five infants have died in Malda Medical College so far and three infants had died in Jalpaiguri out of influenza and RS virus, while several hundreds of babies were admitted in different state hospitals especially in North Bengal with cold and fever, and breathlessness.

According to a notice floated by the West Bengal health department, the department has sanctioned 435 new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) beds in addition to the 244 already sanctioned PICU beds.

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